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Founded in 1904 and headquartered in Farmington Hills, Michigan, USA, the American Concrete Institute is a leading authority and resource worldwide for the development, dissemination, and adoption of its consensus-based standards, technical resources, educational programs, and proven expertise for individuals and organizations involved in concrete design, construction, and materials, who share a commitment to pursuing the best use of concrete.
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Home > Publications > International Concrete Abstracts Portal
The International Concrete Abstracts Portal is an ACI led collaboration with leading technical organizations from within the international concrete industry and offers the most comprehensive collection of published concrete abstracts.
Title: Holistic Approach to Concrete Technology for Major Bridges
Author(s): B. C. Gerwick Jr..
Publication: Special Publication
Appears on pages(s): 41-60
Keywords: bridge decks; bridges (structures); corrosion; tunnels; cracking (fracturing); cyclic loads; durability; fatigue (materials); finite element analysis; freeze-thaw durability; microcracking; reinforcing steels; salts; General
Abstract:Durability criteria for major bridges differ from those of most other structures in that, currently, major bridges are designed to serve for 100 to 125 years. Challenging this longevity are not only the normal physical and chemical attacks on the concrete itself and on the reinforcement, but also the intentional application of salts to highway bridge decks and, in the case of railroad and floating bridges, the accumulation of internal damage (fatigue) due to cyclic dynamic loading. Great progress has been made recently in identifying causes and finding preventive and mitigating measures aimed at specific phenomena. Advanced laboratory technology and equipment have been combined with field observations to describe the processes, prescribe tests for early diagnosis, and develop appropriate countermeasures. A number of tests of specific parameters have recently been developed and are now being implemented as mandatory criteria for concrete in major bridges designed for lives in excess of 100 years. Ever more refined linear elastic finite element analyses are being employed to reveal areas of probable cracking due to structural response. Rigid enforcement of specified quantitative criteria, focused on specific parameters, ignores the interactive complex processes involved. Excessive reliance on such criteria impedes rather than helps construction progress, and may on occasion be counterproductive to durability. What is required, instead, is a holistic systems approach that addresses not only individual processes and phenomena but their interaction.
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